York County added to Pennsylvania's spotted lanternfly quarantine list

FILE - This Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, shows a spotted lanternfly at a vineyard in Kutztown, Pa. Penn State researchers estimate the spotted lanternfly is causing some $50 million in damage per year in the state’s hard-hit southeast. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

York County is now on Pennsylvania's quarantine list for the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect first discovered in Berks County that wreaks havoc on crops such as grapes, hops and hardwoods.

The 12 counties added to the list Tuesday are not completely infested, a news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture states, but they have a few municipalities with a known infestation. The infested municipalities in York County are Hellam, Newberry and West Manchester townships and Mount Wolf, the department said.

“Most of these municipalities have already been aggressively treated,” Ruth Welliver, director of the Bureau of Plant Industry, said in a statement.

Along with York County, Allegheny, Beaver, Blair, Columbia, Cumberland, Huntingdon, Juniata, Luzerne, Mifflin, Northumberland and Perry counties were added to the list. There are now 26 counties in Pennsylvania under quarantine.

Businesses operating or traveling through quarantined counties must obtain permits or face a fine of up to $300 for a criminal citation or a civil penalty up to $20,000, according to the news release. 

More:York County to host spotted lanternfly permit training

More:Spotted lanternfly a $50M drag on Pa. annually, study finds

“The spotted lanternfly is more than a pest in the literal sense,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “It’s wreaking havoc for home and business owners, kids who just want to play outside."

For information on treatment, contact local Penn State Extension offices and review information at extension.psu.edu. Residents who live inside the quarantine zone should consult a checklist at agriculture.pa.gov.